Monday, January 11, 2010


John Adams, in his 1776 Thoughts on Government,

Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.
Truly, the American Founding was predicated on exactly the opposite mindset. The Constitution is grounded in the premise that there are other values and priorities more important than mere Safety.

Even though the "Founding Fathers" knew that doing so would help murderers and other dangerous and vile criminals evade capture, the Framers,
  1. banned the Government from searching homes without probable cause,
  2. prohibited compelled self-incrimination, double jeopardy and convictions based on hearsay, and
  3. outlawed cruel and unusual punishment.
That's because certain values -- privacy, due process, limiting the potential for abuse of government power -- were more important than mere survival and safety.

A central tenet of the Constitution is that we insist upon privacy, liberty and restraints on government power even when doing so means we live with less safety and a heightened risk of danger and death.

And if the Constitution is not a good enough basis for you, go to the Bible. “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:6,7).

There you have it--from both the bedrock of this country and the principles of Christian faith.

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